Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Start of a delicious new year
The scenario of Italian restaurants inundating every soi (small street/lane) in downtown Bangkok lets us eat too much cheese and tomatoes these days; all of them say that they are authentic and run by Italian chefs, but it turns out many of their foods are dull and mediocre.
Three years ago, before Renaissance Rajprasong Hotel opened, I had heard that it will include an Italian (La Tavola), coffee shop (Flavors) and Chinese (Fei Ya) restaurants in the venue, but I just didn't feel too excited about these culinary additions to the city. However, later I found out that Fe Ya is probably Bangkok's best Chinese restaurant, especially its dimsum dishes during the lunch time yumcha period; the quality is above the mark in Bangkok's Chinese restaurant scene, and on par with top Chinese restaurant standards in Hong Kong.
La Tavola, nested in the Renaissance Rajprasong Hotel, is a ristorante with home-style Italian cuisine to offer. The food was good though not overly outstanding on the first time I visited; not the love at first bite kind! Over time, my taste buds tends to appreciate Chef Fabio's culinary style, complexity in simplicity, and I started to enjoy the food more.
Just like in most five-star hotel dining, the service at La Tavola is of the enthusiastic and attentive kind.
rocket salad with tiger prawns, THB 390++
(served with cantaloupe melon, sun-dried tomato pesto, a wonderful appetizer)
clear duck consomme, B280++
(served with dill omelet & enoki mushrooms, a hearty soup, taste so-so!)
minestrone with parmesan crouton & pesto, B280++
(vegetable soup, with hints of sourness, like cooked and scented water!)
handmade squid-ink cappellini angel hair pasta, THB 680++
(with crab meat, in rich bouillabaise sauce, very light, one of my favorite)
white truffle & parmesan cheese risotto, THB 750++
(with seared foi gras and aromatic oil, nice texture, and it is a real treat)
roasted sea bream Acqua Pazza style with Prosecco wine, THB 670++
(w/ capers, red onion, fresh tomato, zuchini & basil, fish is fresh, sauce too sour)
la Margherita pizza, THB 320++
(w/ tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese & oregano, nice but not outstanding)
herbs marinated grilled lamb cutlet, THB 750++
(with potato tart zucchini Provencal, red wine reduction, yummy red meat)
grilled vegetables, rocket lettuce & parmesan cheese, THB 90+)
(mushroom, rocket leaves & parmesan just get along quite well, aromatic)
sauteed zucchini and cherry tomato, with herbs, THB 90++
(just stir-fried zucchini with zest of wine vinegar, quite sour, didn't like it)
panna cotta with fresh strawberry, THB 380++, pretty nice pudding!
vanilla ice cream, THB 90++, chef homemade, but why not gelato?
crispy focaccia bread, complimentary
La Tavola Italian Restaurant ****
Renaissance Bangkok Rajprasong Hotel
518/8 Ploenchit Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, dinner 6 - 11 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 4,000